Detroit, Michigan – While Ford has struggled with several short-term shutdowns following workers testing positive for COVID-19, officials at General Motors say restarting production has been smooth, and the company is planning to bring more workers back this week.
"Our comprehensive safety procedures are working well, and our suppliers have done a great job implementing their return-to-work strategies and safety playbooks," GM officials said. "We are now in a position to increase production to meet strengthening customer demand and strong dealer demand."
When production restarted in May, all plants were on one shift, and production lines were slower than usual as workers got used to new hygiene, security, and work rule. At Ford plants in Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois, production was temporarily interrupted several times as workers tested positive for the virus, forcing shutdowns of some areas so crews could thoroughly clean the area.
At GM, however, startup problems have been minimal, so today, three crossover plants in the U.S. and Canada are expected to move to two-shift operations. The company's three pickup plants in North America will move from one shift to three. GM pickup supplies were low going into the pandemic shutdown, so the automaker desperately needs new models to get to dealerships.
Five of GM's plants, the ones making cars and slower-selling SUVs, will remain on one shift.